GMF's Players to Watch in 2012


GMF highlights some young stars who are likely to shine bright this year.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain [Arsenal]

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has already established himself as one of the most exciting young prospects in the country, but 2012 is likely to be a year in which he really flourishes.

The 18-year-old joined the Gunners from Southampton in August for a fee in the region of £12 million, and has already scored twice for the north London club.

A pacey winger who is comfortable when using both feet, Oxlade-Chamberlain has been compared Theo Walcott but, even at his tender age, appears to have more to offer than his teammate.

Oxlade-Chamberlain has scored three goals in seven appearances for the England under-21s, and would be an outside bet to make Fabio Capello's Euro 2012 squad.

Josh McEachran [Chelsea]

Josh McEachran is regarded as one of the finest youngsters to graduate from the Chelsea academy for a number of years.

The 18-year-old midfielder already has 22 appearances for the Blues to his name, having been granted his debut by Carlo Ancelotti, when he became the first player born in 1992 to play in the Champions League.

McEachran grew up idolising Zinedine Zidane and has been compared to younger versions of Barcelona duo Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta.

The teenager has been linked with a January loan move to either Bolton or Swansea, either of which would serve the him well. The former played a part in the progression of Arsenal's Jack Wilshere, while Swansea's style of football would suit McEachran.

Ravel Morrison [Manchester United]

Such are the talents of Ravel Morrison, the teenage midfielder is being linked with a summer move to Barcelona or nouveau-riche Paris Saint-Germain

With Morrison's contract with Manchester United set to expire in the summer, he is reportedly being watched by a number of clubs, and the Nou Camp has been touted as a potential destination.

However, United are desperate to keep the 18-year-old at Old Trafford, and will do all in their power to tie him down to a new deal.

Morrison has made three first-team appearances for United and his ability to find the net from midfielder has seen him compared to Chelsea's Frank Lampard.

He is most certainly a superstar in the making.

Adam Morgan [Liverpool]

With Liverpool's strikers profligate in front of goal so far this season, Adam Morgan could be the natural finisher Kenny Dalglish so craves.

The Reds boss is without the services of Luis Suarez for another seven games, while £35 million acquisition Andy Carroll has failed to impress at Anfield.

Morgan, meanwhile, has proved his potency while climbing the ranks at Liverpool, and has also impressed for the Reds reserves.

The 17-year-old idolises and compares himself to Anifield legend Robbie Fowler, and the Kop awaits to see if Morgan can become "God"'s successor.

Harry Kane [Tottenham]

Teenage striker Harry Kane scored five goals in 18 appearances during a loan spell with Leyton Orient in early 2011, and further showcased his potential during pre-season with Tottenham last summer.

The 18-year-old found the net eight times in six appearances for Harry Redknapp's side, before being handed his senior debut against Hearts in the Europa League in August.

Although Kane missed a penalty that day, he impressed all and sundry at White Hart Lane with his movement and pace, and became a regular during Spurs' continental campaign.

Kane's first goal game in the 4-0 defeat of Shamrock Rovers in December, while he will have the opportunity to further his development in the Championship, after joining Millwall on loan.

Abdul Razak [Manchester City]

Roberto Mancini has high hopes for Ivorian midfielder Abdul Razak, and believes the 19-year-old can become a 'very important' player for Manchester City.

Razak was lured from Crystal Palace's youth set-up to City's academy in July 2010 but did not make his first appearance for the reserves until February 2011.

But, such are his talents, Razak was handed his senior bow only two days after his debut for City's second-string, when he came on as a substitute against West Brom.

Razak has made one further first-team appearance for City, while he also spent a month on loan with Portsmouth last October.

He could be set to feature City over the coming month with Yaya Toure - his natural comparison - competing in the Africa Cup of Nations.

Who are you excited about seeing this year? Let us know.

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